Terri Review

Posted on February 16, 2012


By Conor Murray

We’ve all been through High School…

We all have different experiences during our tenure though secondary education. Yet, why does mostly every film (American films, I might add) always portray that life is all so swell and jolly. My own individual memories during High School were a mixture of dread, exams and uncontrollable sweating.

Finally… this is where Terri comes in.
Overweight and depressed, newcomer Jacob Wysocki portrays a 15-year-old boy who begins to slack off at school. With his grades deteriorating, he starts to wear pajamas to class. Soon, principal assistant Mr. Fitzgerald takes Terri under his wing using unusual methods to council the troubled youngsters within the school, including Terri.

While the idea of the film is familiar one, with a high school misfit finding friendship amongst fellow ‘freaks’ and ultimately accepting who they are, Terri has got more to offer.
The relationship between Terri and Mr. Fitzgerald, portrayed by funny man John C. Reilly, is both damaged and unique. Though, at times, the interaction between the actors can be both dramatic and humorous, all in one scene.

It is a surprising twist to find that Reilly can really act. Of course he has a few moments where he injects much needed humour into the storyline, marked with moments where he delivers heart-warming speeches that helps guide young Terri.
With Terri being his first major film piece, Wysocki can be certainly be proud of it. From the opening scene of the movie, you can see the pain in Terri’s eyes, as he lies in a bathtub in utter silence, Wysocki manages to continuously pull this off throughout the film. Even during the times when Terri might not be the focus of the scene, he still manages to be one of the strongest performers in the film.

However, with a run time of nearly an hour and 30 minutes, there are far too many subplots. With dealing with his uncle’s dementia, making new friends, discovering his sexuality and a bizarre couple of scenes involving mice, director Azazel Jacobs struggles at times to compact all this muddled information, which leaves unanswered questions, especially the ending of the movie.
Overall though, Terri is a heartfelt and warm piece at its core. Through the performances of the two main stars, you can easily relate to the film, as the message is crystal clear. Be who you want to be.

As the tagline suggests: “We’ve all been there”.